When my parents came to visit and gave me free reign over where to do and what to see, I knew that I wanted them to get a glimpse of Mt Fuji (富士山) and experience a stay in a traditional Japanese inn (旅館). So we headed down to 河口湖 for a one night stay. I had my fingers crossed for good weather, and luckily the day we left Tokyo (東京), it was spectacularly clear and warm.
Breathtaking 富士山 with Fuji Q Highland in the foreground
The bus ride was easy and fuss free – we got on at Shinagawa station (品川駅) and got off at Kawaguchiko station( 河口湖駅) just over two hours later. We all had our faces plastered against the window as soon as 富士山 came into sight, and having seen her many times since arriving in Japan, her magnificence is something that still leaves me in awe.
We stopped off for a picnic lunch over looking Lake Kawaguchiko before heading up the Mt Kachi Kachi ‘ropeway’ (what I would normally call a gondola or cable car).
The views from the top were amazing, the beautiful mountain overlooking the lake. I managed to persuade my parents to hike a tiny bit (like 10 metres further up) to see if there was a better view, and there was!
Ahhh….what a beautiful mountain!!!
We then stopped off for a spot of tea and cake (it was actually coffee) before checking in at the 旅館. I had explained to my parents before coming that there would be an onsen (温泉) and all that would entail and encouraged them to really give it a go. My dad said he would not have any part of it and my mum was apprehensive but decided to try, and I think she enjoyed the experience. I think I’ve become increasingly comfortable with onsen-ing, as the experience far outweighs what little embarrassment I may feel initially.
Fun times in yukatas (浴衣) and enjoying some green tea
The other main draw-card of the 旅館 experience is the food. A traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast were included and I wanted my parents to try real authentic Japanese vegetarian food. I am not sure if it was to their liking, but they certainly had a red hot go.
Dinner – my dad struggling to sit on the low chairs!
Breakfast – I guess we are not used to eating rice and tofu for breakfast! Still tasty though!
We certainly lucked out with the weather our first day there as we woke up the next morning to snow! And not just a little sleety type rain, it was snowing consistently for most of the morning.
Look at all that snow!
I am so glad that my parents were able to see Mt Fuji in all her glory and also the snow! They said it was one of their favourite parts of their stay in Japan.